Sweet Music

Sweet Music

5.0 (3)
1 employee
37 years in business

About this pro

Private Lessons at Sweet Music are not just learning tunes or playing scales.  You get the whole picture and you learn the nitty gritty and in the end you find yourself playing and laughing and enjoying the experience...you come away with a feeling of accomplishing something, and that is a wonderful thing! Private Lessons cover the complex history of the instrument, how to hold it properly, how to balance the pick and the instrument (mandolin), how to control the bow and play with a beautiful tone (violin).  You will learn how to read music if you don't know already, and how to prioritize practice, how to self motivate and how engaging and playing music with others speeds the process and increases chances that you will stick with the instrument for the rest of your life! Once a student gains some proficiency in playing the violin or mandolin, each student then has the opportunity to play in a group. In a group, the student learns how to interact and collaborate with other musicians – both by learning nonverbal cues as well as learning cues from the music itself. After several months to several years of participating in both individual and group sessions, it is then possible to go out into the world and successfully play with other musicians. This combination of individual lessons and group lessons is a wonderful preparation for becoming a musician and is unique in the music education world. ADAM R SWEET TEACHES MANDOLIN, FIDDLE, VIOLIN, VIOLA "Adam is a very imaginative music teacher in that he not only teaches the mechanics of how to play an instrument, but he also teaches the history of the instrument, the history of the music, the social aspects of the music and how to play different types of music. So students gain a broad understanding of the instrument and the music that they are playing.  I believe that his offerings are a significant contribution to the culture of South Hadley."  ~ Ben Levy Granby, MA Adam R Sweet plays fiddle, guitar and mandolin with Celticado, The Americana Project, and Fiddle Hill.  He is a co-founder of Mandolin New England with Joshua Bell, William Melton and Benjamin Levy.

I love teaching more than playing music if you can believe that!  It's true.  I like figuring out the best way to show someone what they need to learn in order to get to where they want to get with their instrument.  My ultimate goal is to get people to a level where they can comfortably play with others with confidence.

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Granby, MA 01033
Phone verified

3 Reviews


  • William Peabody

    I wanted to hire the best mandolin teacher in western Mass and I got him!

  • Emily Guo

    I can't praise Adam Sweet enough! I came to him on a recommendation from another student, a colleague at UMass. I am a chef there. My friend has been encouraging me to learn how to play the mandolin so I can join a little group that plays for functions here on campus. Mr. Sweet's studio is convenient (in Granby), he's personable and friendly, he's incredibly knowledgeable about theory, music history, the mandolin, and everything else. He taught me to play and I must say I'm thrilled to be a part of his organization. I've met many other adults who are also learning and they are all very nice people. I joined the Celtic group which meets on Thursdays and I love it!

  • Jeffrey Beam

    Adam Sweet is the best teacher I've ever had! I wanted to learn how to play mandolin for my own enjoyment. I had never played a musical instrument before. I'm retired (66) and thought it would be nice to have something to do in my retirement. Not only did I learn how to play, but Mr Sweet encouraged me to join Mandolin New England, a mandolin orchestra he directs. I've been very happy and very busy learning and playing with others!

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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

The first step is to find out what instrument they want to learn and what style(s) of music they want to learn on that instrument.  I teach classical, but also celtic, bluegrass, klezmer, blues and jazz.  The next thing to do is to find out what level they are at, for example, has the student already had a few lessons, or did they play an instrument when they were younger, can they read music, etc.  That will help determine where to start with them.  The next step, is to find out if there's an available time in my schedule that meets their needs.  I generally teach weekdays from 5pm-9pm, but I also have some morning slots open.  My schedule is posted on my website, and students should ask.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I have a BA in Music and certificates in violin, chamber music coaching and performance from the New England Conservatory of Music, The Concervatory of Music at Rivers and Hampshire College, where I graduated in 1985.  I opened my studio in 1986 and have been teaching mainly violin, mandolin and guitar ever since.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

Lessons are 60 minutes a week.  I do not do 30 minute lessons because they are a waste of an hour which could be used for private lessons or group classes. 

How did you get started teaching?

I first started teaching friends in High School.  Later in College, I taught a few classmates how to play the violin.  It was very natural for me to do it professionally as an adult as I'd put a lot of thought into it as a teenager.

What types of students have you worked with?

I've worked with students of all ages over the 30+ years I've been teaching.  Lately, most of my students are aged 50 and older, and i think that has more to do with the current live music scene than anything else.  People of a certain generation (boomers) were brought up culturally valuing music and being able to play a musical instrument with others was well respected and a good goal.  

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I'm a co-founder of Mandolin New England, an organization that puts together mandolin orchestra concerts in Rhode Island and western Mass.  My students are a part of this group as are the students of one of my colleagues in Rhode Island.  It's a lot of fun.  We are working on Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi and Schubert.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Background and education is important, but more important is to know in advance what you are looking for in a teacher and in lessons.  Be realistic.  It takes 6-9 months of daily practice an hour or more to learn to play the mandolin well.  Two years or more to learn the violin.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

Students should know what their schedule looks like, know if they can commit to daily practice, and if they are willing and able to follow the instructions of the teacher to the letter.